NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 10: The Coaches' Trophy, awarded to head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide after defeating Louisiana State University Tigers in the 2012 Allstate BCS National Championship Game during a press conference on January 10, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
The BCS as we know it is a broken and biased system which is now on its death bed. This has nothing to do with last nights 21-0 snooze fest between the Alabama Crimson Tide and LSU Tigers, but rather that the SEC has won the system:
Last night, the BCS system as we know it reached its logical conclusion. Sure, it depended on one crazy, random night in Iowa, but the point is clearer than ever. The system as presently constructed favors the SEC. When circumstances line up just right, the SEC can put two teams in the national championship game despite controversy. When the SEC does get two teams in the game, it can prove conclusively enough that the controversy was for naught and no one else really did belong after all. S-E-C, S-E-C, S-E-C, indeed.
That is why the system is going to change. It has to. It favors one conference disproportionately over the others.
Ever since 2004 when an undefeated Auburn Tigers were left out of the BCS championship there has been a cry for some sort of playoff system. Auburn being shut out was much bigger than Utah being left out in 2004 or 2008, and it was more meaningful when Cincinnati was regulated to the Sugar in 2010 while being undefeated or the other non-BCS teams to be left with no shoat at the title game when undefeated.
With last night's result the SEC won their sixth straight BCS title and have received the benefit of the doubt when things were not exactly clear cut who should be in the title game. Outside of this year, the most recent example was in 2006 when Ohio State and Michigan played each other ranked No. 1 and No. 2 and then Florida bypassed Michigan to avoid a rematch. Choosing Florida ended up being the right call (at least when matching up against Ohio State) by thrashing Ohio State.
Now, other conferences are not happy with this biased and no real fair way to distinguish the best one-loss team among many, so they just go to the SEC because they are perceived as the best conference. They are normally the best conference but this year the Big 12 was better top to bottom, but in college football history is more important than anything else. Because really we do not know how good the SEC is since their out of conference schedule is usually full of FCS team, but it is getting better. This is the same reason that we really do not know how good Boise State really is because of their level of competition is not the same as teams from the BCS leagues.
Matt Hayes at the Sporting News is reporting how this is the beginning of the end of the current format as we know it:
Years from now, this BCS National Championship Game won't be remembered so much for Alabama's utter domination of LSU as it will the beginning of radical change in college football. A national playoff is coming, everyone.
It's only a matter of what it looks like.
"It gets done," a high-ranking BCS official told Sporting News Monday evening.
Here's how: over the next six months, the leaders of the sport will meet at least four times to iron out a plan that protects the importance of the regular season-the one aspect BCS leaders believe separates the game from every other-while embracing a new frontier for the poll-driven sport.
Even BCS executive director Bill Hancock who is paid to defend the system even hints at changes:
"Anyone who loves college football would love to be a fly on the wall during these discussions," Hancock said. "Everything you can imagine will be brought up, from who plays who to where they play to the business aspect of it. It's all going to be on the table. We've got a lot of work to do."
That is good to hear that Hancock realizes -- or was told to say this -- that there needs to be a big change in the system. The popular idea is to eliminate auto-qualifying leagues and take the top-10 ranked teams or create some sort of plus-one format. If the auto bids are done away or if a large a playoff is created that might have an effect on future expansion and could cause Boise State and San Diego State to one day leave the Big East, but in the mean time they will get a better pay day and an uptick in scheduling.
However, Hancock specifically mentioned that he wants no part in a large playoff:
"Whatever we do we have to protect the regular season," BCS executive director Bill Hancock said Monday at a meeting of the Football Writers Association of America. "I think the larger the playoff field the more damage to the regular season."
Sad to here, but if there is at least a plus-one that would help open up more opportunities for mainly the current automatic qualifying leagues. Also, the protection of the regular season is no longer a valid argument since LSU beat Alabama in the regular season was the division champ and the SEC champion. So, cross that off the list of a valid argument regarding the BCS system. I know it is hard to distinguish between one loss teams and I am not saying Alabama was not deserving for the BCS game, but the idea that the regular season is so important and needs to be protected is a load of crap.
However, there is a way to have an eight- to 16-team playoff without sacrificing the regular season and that would make conference champions still mean something, by giving them an auto bid. There you go Mr. Hancock problem solved. This is not like the basketball NCAA tournament that will have 16-14 teams who were eighth in their league and get a bid. At most there might be three teams from one league that get in, and at worst those teams would be 9-3. Make a win minimum for at-large teams to get a chance to make the playoffs and make FCS games not count toward that number. That would make sure teams with good records and playing better competition and create a better regular season.
Changes are coming and they are not likely to be what this writer wants to happen, but any change that includes some sort of playoff is a better way to crown a national champion.
As for now the current system is in place for two more seasons.